How Can You Make Your Mental Health a Priority?

Mental health has become a critical topic of conversation in 2020—and for good reason. With roughly 19 percent of adults (45 million Americans) experiencing a form of mental health illness, the need for accessible and reliable resources to support coping strategies and recovery is critical.

These numbers also do not take into account those reporting various degrees of anxiety, depression and stress who may not be officially diagnosed.

No one was prepared to isolate from loved ones, live through a pandemic and experience a complete lifestyle shift. Instead of steering clear of mental health, it’s time to address the stress and prioritize yourself and your mind.

Develop Daily Routines

For those returning to school and work in the coming weeks, it’s likely that your familiar environments and routines will have evolved in order to accommodate for increased public safety. To lessen the stress that any new adjustments may cause, strategically develop a routine that you can follow every day to give yourself both a sense of control and structure.

Write down your goals and schedule them in a planner to help keep yourself on track. Take each moment one step at a time, and celebrate when you complete items on your to-do list.

Take an Information Break Mental Health

With over 70 percent of all media time spent on smartphones, averaging about three and a half hours a day total per person, we are constantly open to an endless stream of data. While both education and recreational browsing are important, this amount of information can be an overload. Taking a step back from Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter is an opportunity to focus on the present and remove potential stressors from our day.

Practice Mindfulness and Meditation

Breathing exercises, meditation and mindfulness practices are some of the best tools you can use to address ongoing feelings of sadness, frustration or anxiety.

Defined as the awareness of “where you are…without becoming overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around you,” mindfulness is an excellent tool to help center the body and remove intrusive thoughts that frequently diminish your mental health.

Get Help from the Professionals Mental Health

We’re not always going to have all the answers, and that’s why we go to the pros. Per the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurance plans are required to cover individuals who need mental health treatment and support. To receive this coverage, find your HealthMarkets FitScore and compare insurance options available to you based on your specific needs. It’s important to note that as part of the ACA, you cannot be denied coverage or charged additional fees due to pre-existing health conditions.

Be Kind to Yourself

No matter where you are on your path to better mental health, always remember to be patient and understand that progress comes in small consistent action—not overnight.

If you’re nervous about tackling your mental health alone, involve trusted family members and friends in your efforts, building a system of emotional support around you. As you begin to make mental health a priority, you’ll increase your resiliency and strength in this time of uncertainty. You’ve got this.

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